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Sept. 1, 2010
TEAMS HONOR JIM SHERMAN IN NORTHWEST CHAMPIONSHPSDave Dowell National Director
PORTLAND, OR – The 2010 version of the Northwest Championships at the beautiful William Owens Softball Complex sported a new name for a well established stop on the SSUSA Regional Championships circuit.
To honor the late Jim Sherman, a long-time national director, umpire in chief, national safety director and the first player inducted to the SSUSA Hall of Fame, the event was renamed the Jim Sherman Memorial Northwest Championships. This year’s tournament marked the sixth annual event in Portland, but the “First Annual” under the new name.
In formal ceremonies held during each session, Jim was remembered under the watchful eyes of the Portland Fire Department Honor Guard and all players of the participating teams.
“This is a tremendous honor for Jim and our family,” said Jim’s wife Linda, who was accompanied by many of their children and grandchildren. “Softball was a very important part of Jim’s life, a life we lived to the fullest. I’m sure Jim is looking down and watching this today with that little wry smile of his on his face,” she added.
Tournament play lived up to the significance of the event name change with closely contested games for the entire six-day run. The Men’s 65/70+ Division began Tuesday with the seven teams playing their round-robin games to seed the championship bracket in normal fashion. But starting Wednesday morning, bracket play was anything but normal. Top seeded Game On (CA) lost its first game on Wednesday, but came all the way back “the hard way”. They survived an elimination bracket game that afternoon, and then won five consecutive elimination games on Thursday to accomplish a rare feat. Wins in the championship game (21-19) and the “If needed” game (19-13) over the Tukwila 65’s (WA) avenged that first game loss.
In the Men’s 50+ Division, the Northwest Legends (WA) slipped past Four Seasons/Wilkins Trucking (OR) by a 23-19 score in the championship game for the 50/55+ Platinum Division while Wolfpack Softball (WA) completed an unbeaten week with a 23-10 win over Doerflinger/Second Wind (WA) in the 50-Silver title game.
Other winners on Sunday included Timberworks Construction (CA), 25-15 over W.E. Ruth Realty (WA) in the 66/60+-Platinum “If needed” game, Spot Bar & Grill (WA), 25-8 over the Sacramento Islanders (CA) in the 50-AAA “If needed” game, Cascade Thunder (OR) , 20-19 over Vancouver USA in the 55-AA and Jeld-Wen Communities (OR) over Last Call (NV) in both the winner’s bracket final (25-13) and the championship game (13-12), to defend their 2009 Northwest 60-AAA championship.
Dave Dowell is one of the SSUSA’s National Directors and he authors all SSUSA administered tournament schedules as its National Schedule Consultant. Dave may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org